There are several instances where a person sees a spider in their home and freaks out. But what happens if that fear becomes more intense? What happens if it becomes an actual phobia? One of the most common phobias is arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. It is a real issue with anxiety. Thankfully, for those with this phobia, there is the hope of overcoming it.
What is arachnophobia?
Arachnophobia comes from the Greek words “Arachne,” which means spider, and “Phobos,” which means fear. This fear is not silly; it is extreme and should not be taken lightly.
Many may have a more “disgusted” response when they see a spider, but those with arachnophobia may be so afraid that they may impulsively look up “best pest control near me” when they see a single spider.
They also have an intense fear that they will not go to certain rooms in their home. When this fear becomes so intense that it starts bleeding into their everyday lives, it is time to find help.
What causes arachnophobia?
As far as the cause for this intense fear, there have been studies that were done to show there may be an evolutionary reason behind it. For example, it is known that there are species of spiders that are poisonous and cause illness and infections.
Many people watch television shows and movies about these dangerous spiders. Therefore, when they see a spider, their natural response becomes one of fear and avoidance.
Another possible cause would be that they watched how others reacted to spiders at a young age. It then became a learned response to react in fear of spiders. There could also have been a traumatic experience that involved a spider that caused the development of arachnophobia.
What are common symptoms?
Mostly, symptoms of arachnophobia show up during childhood or teen years. But it can also show up during someone’s adult years.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms include the person feeling dizzy, sweating, or trembling. They may feel like they are losing control and have difficulty breathing.
Their heart could be beating rapidly, and they have hot or cold flashes. There could also be gastrointestinal distress, and in difficult situations, there could even be chest pain.
What is the treatment for arachnophobia?
For some people who suffer from arachnophobia, a combination of counseling and medication helps ease their fear. Meditation and relaxation techniques are also great tools.
There may be situations where exposure therapy is helpful too. However, that may be too extreme. In those instances, virtual reality therapy is available, so they can be exposed, but only in a virtual sense.
Another option is cognitive therapy. In this popular approach, a therapist attempts to replace their negative automatic response to spiders and replace it with more rational thoughts.
Finally, if the fear is too intense, a medical professional may suggest taking an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication. The purpose here is to alleviate their symptoms.
Arachnophobia is more than just being afraid of spiders. It is intense and can affect a person’s daily life. But hope is not lost; some treatments can help people overcome their fear.
Do you have a fear of spiders? Or, do you know of any treatments that are helpful for it?